To Toss or Not To Toss

This couple chose to do a traditional garter toss and a Longest Married Couple dance. Photo by Haydon Photography.

Should you have a bouquet or garter toss?  That is the question, isn’t it? With more couples waiting to get married, fewer guests are singles – which makes the traditional tosses feel a little silly.  Isn’t there something that can be done instead?

The short answer is yes – but deciding which something else to do may prove even more difficult than bucking with tradition.  Just in case you are unaware, the tradition is that all the single guests gather around for the Bride to toss her bouquet – the recipient is supposed to be the next to marry.  It’s the same for the garter toss but with men instead.  And it can sometimes cross the lines of decency (at least with Grandma watching).

So – what to do?  Here are my favorite alternatives for the traditional bouquet toss:

Bouquet Toss to ALL the ladies – who says it has to be single ladies?  Have the DJ announce that all ladies are eligible to vie for the coveted bouquet.  It might be fun to see Grandma get out there and try to catch the bouquet! 

Lotto Bouquet – I once had a Bride that tucked several scratch and win and quick pick lotto tickets into her bouquet before tossing it into the crowd of all of the women present.  Beautiful flowers AND a chance to win millions?  Yes please!

Loose Bouquet – Flowers are tied loosely with a ribbon that the Bride discreetly unties just before tossing.  Instead of one lucky lady getting the bouquet – everyone gets a pretty posey.

Fortune or Wish Bouquet – A combination of all of the above really.  All ladies are invited to participate.  The toss bouquet is made of smaller bouquets that have either a fortune (or real fortune, ie money or lotto tickets) attached.  Or DJ asks all ladies present to make a wish prior to the toss saying the person that catches it will have her wish come true – and of course once the bouquet(s) is tossed, multiple ladies get their wish! Especially if it was to catch the bouquet.

Alternatives for the garter toss are a little more difficult to come by – don’t feel like you must have both.  But you could do:

Lotto Garter – You guessed it – the same Bride that did the lotto bouquet did a lotto garter.  Principles are the same – and men are even more excited at the prospect to win big money.  Or at least none of them ducked out of the way when the garter came at them.

Many couples today are ditching the garter toss altogether.  If you do it, just make sure you are clear with your beloved about what you deem appropriate.

Really just don’t want to do a toss at all?  How about an Anniversary/Longest Married Couple Dance?  The idea is the DJ/emcee invites all guests to join the couple for a dance.  After a minute, he starts to cull the crowd – “if you have been married less than a day, please leave the dance floor”…then a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc.  The last couple dancing is given the bouquet and garter.  What a sweet way to pay tribute to a happily married couple!

Whether you decide to do a traditional bouquet and garter toss or one of the variations above, remember this is YOUR wedding and you should do what you want to do.

Be Carefree,



About bethecarefreebride

I am passionate that everyone should enjoy your wedding day - stress free! Read on to learn how to be the Carefree Bride.
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